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A 29 year old civil employment exam student wakes up in a blank white room and meets a baby angel. This baby angel informs him that he died in his sleep due to heart disease like his father and grandfather. Remembering his mom and their last conversation he says that he will take on a series of life and death tests that the baby angel offers him. From this point on he must put his life on the line and fight in the stage called ‘Arena’. And Every time he clears a test he will gain abilities and weapons to increase his strength. All to clear the tests and get his life back. This is his story of his fights in the ‘Arena’.

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Matsuri Schlaagen
New Matsuri Schlaagen rated it
September 9, 2021
Status: Completed
This novel is a time waster if you have nothing better to do. Hell, I read this during school hours, pushing away my classwork just to read this. I will admit, it could have been better, that is a fact. The setting was something I had never seen before and a good plot to go with it. I stuck with it, and it was clear that the author practically used the time spent on earth were mostly filler, but there was just barely enough plot in it that you needed... more>> to read what went on there to understand things that happened later.

The author did well with the story, though sometimes (rarely) it is restricted by the quality of the translation. I don't compare novel's to others because that is just bias, so in my honest opinion this story was actually a good read. It is unfinished, sadly, and I hope for it to be picked up asap.



On a side note, people are mad at the deaths of certain characters, but its a korean novel and they love power fantasies of a singular man becoming the most powerful without a group, even if he did receive constant support from other support characters almost around every corner. You have to understand the mindsets of the author's country so that you don't drop a novel just because of something you didn't like.

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TheJudge rated it
September 3, 2016
Status: c81
Decent novel, similar to gantz during the start. Story is about a dropout/failure that dies while sleeping, but wakes up in another place with a 2nd chance to live. He meets all new people and befriends them, just when you think all is well, BOOM. This is where it went downhill, the characters he met prior were likable, now we are left with annoying clingy family members and fangirls fawning over the MC because he's strong, rich and so on. Bascially the arc after is about MC bragging how baller... more>> he is. Give it a rest already and move on, we get it; Korean people are gold diggers and very superficial. It's a decent read if you filter out the useless fillers.

Edit: I've dropped my rating from 3 stars to 1 stars. I just cannot tolerate the MC anymore. MC is a passively whipped moron. When he's back in the real world, his sister and gf are both gold diggers looking for free handouts. I've dropped this novel given how dense and hopeless the MC is.


Nothing really has changed, in fact its gotten worse. The MC has become more arrogant and idotic, the writing (if you can call it that) is more like a diary. MC is living his life carelessly, playing around, giggling and saying "i love you" to his gold digging girlfriend every time he meets her. She's a terrible influence on the MC, she had him buy a penthouse, and another house to hide what hes doing when his parents start asking questions. Maybe this is just Korean culture? All Korean women are superficial gold diggers while the men are idiots and falls for them?

Seriously though, half of the guys mind is how hes going to pleasure/bone his gf when hes back in the real world. We have a 9 year old in the other while MC and gf is thinking about how hard their going to screw when shes asleep.

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Diasprirys rated it
August 2, 2017
Status: c91

Possibly the worst read ever, I have only and will only stick around for the Arena part of the story, I am disgusted by the MC's crazy sexual thoughts, for 10 seconds don't think of interc**rse with your girlfriend. His sister and girlfriend are both superficial and have a HUGE interest in his wallet, he honestly fell for his girlfriend making him think she doesn't want his money, nor to spend it when she clearly does. All none Arena or Arena revolved parts of the story are tr*sh. The MC spends so much time in the real world doing useless things for a horrible girl, OK. We already had a female character that was deserving of the girlfriend spot. The MC had fallen for a girl already, she wasn't strong but she had potential, she wasn't trying to jump his bones or make him do anything for her that would just be a benefit. All the things she asked of him, she needed for peace-of-mind.

She understood and liked the MC before he was some Millionaire super buff guy. She realized her faults and tried to get better, she ended up being a sacrifice for the MC to live and barely a few days later he's porking it with some sl*t who tells him she's had more guys on her than wikipedia? Really?! Honestly, he legit forgot about his team, I don't care how hard the author tries to force the MC into being saddened. He did not at all mention their deaths or their existences but days after they died for him. He utterly disgusts me and he needs to be tortured. He is neither clever nor intelligent, he was quite the opposite to the extent that he couldn't properly study without starving himself, and that was proven by the Author himself when the Angel said so. He does not deserve to make it out alive, but we know he will merely because of Plot Armor when people should want to assassinate him at all times, now the majority of what I just said applies to just the real world. In the arena he's a decent person, I still believe he should acknowledge his team mates deaths or at least mourn them. In the Arena the MC is like-able to some extent, he's someone who if you take his utter betrayal of his team mates and lengthy and repetitive thoughts about his girlfriend while in the Arena that could be good MC material. But, the Arena is too short, it's several days, even years, but it's seemingly less chapters than the real world, which in my opinion is just the writers bad writing.. If he fixed that, and spent far less time on the real world, and took away the sl*t and downsized the MC's ego that forms the second he's in the real world, this could be Amazing. But a possibility is not worth great treatment.
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matricha rated it
May 17, 2017
Status: c79
this story has 2 sides to it.

1 - the real earth and the MC's boring, creepy, romantic life...

2 - the parallel fantasy world, with humans, elves, etc...

I personally read this novel only for the 2nd side of the story. 95% of the time, the author is filling the chapter with tr*shy teen drama content when it comes to the 1st side of the story. I completely skip the 1st side of the story when he is with his girlfriend. the rest of the 5% has some relation to the core... more>> of the story. basically, the romance so far is forced and it exists only to fill up the chapter... I mean it, although I generally dislike romance, but in this novel, it doesn't have a single connection to the core of the story.

if you enjoy romance - drama, then this novel is for you, otherwise, run away and don't look back.

overall, the author is a weak writer, forcing the garbage to fill up the chapters... when the sentences are short, that generally signals to the writer's weakness (imo)...

I rate it 2 stars, only for the fantasy world side of the story. <<less
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Horoscope rated it
October 13, 2017
Status: c71
This novel had me riled up for a bit.

For a while, up to around chap 45 ish, the story was absolutely phenomenal. Wonderful character, adequately challenging trials, perfect balance of characters, wonderful team setup, and overall, a riveting story that kept me binge reading for 3 hours straight for several days!!

And then the author threw it all away!!!

... more>>

Everyone except for the main character dies, all the wonderful character buildup... POOF.

I grit my teeth in speculation that this was all to develop the main character. But then this happened within 5 chapters:

-MC's power quadruples without him lifting a finger in a single, easy mission, that essentially consisted of him showing off his power.

-He becomes a millionaire in days, holding a businessman hostage with his newly acquired power of FREAKING IMMORTALITY.

-He hooks up with a hoe, a friend of the MC's sister. She has the maturity of a 10 year old to boot.

-And finally, his heartwarming and insightful personality goes out the window, replaced by an edgy, shortsighted, chunnibuo teen that is grossly overpowered and isn't afraid to flaunt it. The story then continues to be WORSE than most stories about overpowered, shallowly written MC's.

One paragraph to mourn the loss of his team. THAT'S IT. Never mentioned again. I waded through an extra 20 chapters of s**t to confirm that.


This novel had me absolutely SHOCKED. How could the story just NOSEDIVE like that?!

The story was good enough to be in a printed novel!!! And then...! AAAugh!!


In respect for the mindbogglingly awesome story up till that point, I leave it at 3 stars. Even though everything after that point is -5/5 stars, the start was just that good, just that amazing.

RIP Arena

PS. It makes me so heartbroken that I DESPERATELY wish a story on a parallel universe where 'that' didn't happen is written to amend this great mistake. <<less
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TerraEarth rated it
October 3, 2016
Status: --
Surprisingly decent. Sort of. If you've read Terror Infinity then the premise is similar, but unlike TI, Arena is internally consistent and flows smoother.

For once I actually feel invested in the character's emotions, their interactions with one another, their motivations for living on, so on so forth. The characters aren't just throwaway stand-in roles, they feel vibrant and real. Heck, even the side characters are very memorable and dare I say it, endearing. There are some minor problems that I have with the story, but overall it's written quite well. A few issues I had:


Many of the abilities in Arena don't scale with training, which is somewhat disappointing since in a lot of other ways the world in which they live is essentially an RPG. For example, the MC's spirit summons (such as sylph) have a usage timer, however that timer doesn't increase as your proficiency with the spirit increases, neither does the strength of the spirit. Although the spirit summon is in and of itself a skill, you can't quite 'level' it up without spending karma. It's a minor point but I do feel icky about this. On a second note about spirit summons, it is a little annoying that the MC can't telepathically communicate with the spirit. It makes no sense to me why this isn't implemented.



MC gives in too easily to feminine wiles I feel. The moment someone starts flirting with him and he crumbles. I was honestly somewhat disappointed when after his entire team got killed off, one of the members even going so far to sacrifice himself to help him escape, the first thing he does is get himself seduced by some side character who really doesn't have much going for her. It's somewhat distasteful. I can't see this as being anything more than a fling but it seems like the author plans to flesh this relationship out more with how clingy and dependent he has become on her.

I feel that this is an especially big slap to the face to the reader, when just a few chapters ago the MC was holding hands with and bonding with a girl whom he was close to that fought in the arena with him. The girl that seduces the MC is only interested in him for shallow reasons whereas the other girl who was his companion was anything but shallow. She grew together with the MC and they had a good vibe going, so it left a bad taste in my mouth when as soon as she gets killed off he jumps into bed with this vixen seductress who has played with many men in her day (and enjoys bragging about it, even to the MC).


Some of the descriptions of the skills feel dumbed down. For example, when they explain the upgrading of a person's physical traits, they broadly categorize it as: level 1 (healthy male), level 2 (athlete), level 3 (soldier), level 4 (elite soldier), level 5 (beyond human limits). However I doubt that soldiers are more physically capable than athletes, for whom training their bodies is their job. Foot soldiers are usually trained in certain skills but I wouldn't place their physical prowess over athletes. I'm pretty sure that most soldiers can't outswim michael phelps, or outsprint Usain bolt, or outdunk kobe, etc. Just little things like this occur everywhere in the novel and it's somewhat annoying to see them pop up from time to time. It isn't a huge deal though so it's not too big of a setback.

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oblueknighto rated it
June 6, 2016
Status: c30
It's an amazing novel which is has a unique setting. The main character's skills are kind of underwhelming at first but that also makes it interesting.
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craBebe rated it
June 3, 2016
Status: c27
Got ourselves another RPG Death-game. If you've read Gantz or Terror Infinity and are looking for more of the same this is a good one to go with. Only downside is the chapter release rate.

Story's good so far and I see a tremendous amount of potential for the future, interested to see just which direction the author wants to take this series. All in all, a solid read and I recommend it to anyone who's a fan of the death-game genre.
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Solyom rated it
March 5, 2018
Status: c113
Well, I'm at a bit of a loss regarding this novel. It's like someone took an excellent and an awful novel, and miixed them together. What I mean is the arena part of the novel is better than any survival novel I've ever read, while the real world part is close to being a crime against readers. The characters are so money-orientated that it simply hurts.

This means both the MC, his sister and his who*e girlfriend. The romance is basically non-existent, it's like "I buy you expensive stuff, and in... more>> turn, you will sleep with me". What makes this even worse that these three characters are shown easily the most in the novel. There are a couple of way better characters, but they get incomparably less time.


As of now, the MC finally dumped his girlfriend, but for a totally idiotic reason. One day, everything is fine between the two, then the gf goes to drink with her friends. These friends get her drunk and leave her alone with a guy, who has a crush on her. The MC finds them sitting near each other, no kissing, clothes fully on, just the two of them sitting in a bar. The next day, his gf explains the situation to him, but after maybe a day or two, the MC ignores his gf and calls their relationship "half-dead" or "dying". Mature handling of a complex situation, isn't it? At least, the MC is abck in the arena, finally the author can do what he does the best.

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ReadsWebNovels rated it
June 25, 2018
Status: c131
The beginning is extremely strong. 5 star strong easily for quite a while.

The MC starts off as "strong for a beginner, " but not op. He has to make tough decisions in order to survive, and some of them are morally questionable. Despite his strength, he can't overwhelm his opponents and has to outwit them. Additionally, even though he has MC death immunity, his companions do not, and there's a real sense of stakes and tension.

The problem is, after he meets the elves, all the novel's strong points are thrown... more>> away. The MC becomes op, can curb stomp enemies, no longer needs to plan or think, gets easy choices without any moral conundrums, and gets op companions who have no chance of dying.

The MC became bland and the story became bland.

Finally, the real life stuff sucks. Money = Love in Korea I guess. <<less
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ranstorm rated it
February 11, 2017
Status: c67
Finally a refreshing survival game novel. We don't see too much back-stabbing and situations where humans are more dangerous than monsters. For once, we have a novel where the MC focuses on monsters and other enemies instead of fighting other humans in a survival game novel.

There are many good things about this novel. The survival game isn't about screwing over the players or having the participants fight and kill each other but it has some aim which is still unknown. That adds a bit of mystery. The novel is very... more>> consistent. We don't find situations where humans have to fight and kill each other for loot and other reasons often (MC has killed 1 person so far). Also the MC has to solve problems using both intellect and power. The MC isn't ridiculously OP but quite powerful and uses his brain properly. Also there aren't any ridiculous plot armors like we see in some other novels.

It takes the form of exams and these exams take place in an alternative world and the effect it has on the residents living on Earth is minimal. The MC has to alternate between the worlds and also has time to rest between exams.

MC's character development was also done nicely. The MC isn't immune to mistakes and makes them at times and even pays for those mistakes and learns from them. So far there's no sign of any harem and I don't think there will be one for those concerned.

The only thing in this novel that I think is lacking is the romance. I think it just came too quickly and it felt kind of forced....

All in all I recommend this novel and rate it 5.

Waiting for more chapters ;-; <<less
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crazykat rated it
May 1, 2016
Status: --
Some what similar to Terror infinity. Might even be better at some of the points then terror infinity. The translator has done a great job!
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Asterism rated it
March 5, 2017
Status: c67
3 rated down to 2.5

While some of the concepts the MC comes up are pretty entertaining, I just couldn't get into it even though I kept on reading. I'm going to drop this here. I enjoyed him using the wind spirit as an aim bot.

First of all, I do not like how the MC thinks - he's somewhat a mix between a wimp and someone who just came onto power. His attitude is really sexist - he assumes women are weaker even though he lives in a world where people... more>> can upgrade their physique or even gain benefits from the arena; the author makes him clever, but he's not really intelligent. He seems to get s*upider as every chapter is written.

Some his interactions are kinda cringe-worthy. And he lacks lethality and ruthlessness, even though he seems to material to be the ultimate assassin. If I was in his place, with his skills, I would already be OP. Ie. In the forest with all the monkeys, I would have created a delayed poison and put it at where they are eating or in the water or even disperse it downwind. Or just use the convenience of the system to cheaply synthesize nerve gas; the world you are going into isn't Earth, so it's use is not really restricted. Very easy with his stealth and wind spirit. Wipe them all out for max contribution.

The gangster should have just been removed at the beginning, it would take < 1s with the MC's abilities. Someone like that would just cause more suffering and trouble and be a hindrance in the future. <<less
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Mahesvera rated it
March 13, 2018
Status: c128
Thankfully The below mentioned chapters were removed from this site.

I love this series, has always been one of my favorites, and I have been patiently hoping and waiting for another TL to pick it up. Imagine my surprise when today there is someone who has posted 17+ chapters! I was amazed and so happy.

I started reading their MTL's and it started off not too horrible...... but the further I read, the worse it got. on the 8th one I had to stop. I was no longer enjoying reading and... more>> was just frustrated. I would rather never have known about these instead of trying to understand this dumb sh*t translation.

The worst part is, I doubt anyone else will take up the mantle, since someone else is doing it, no matter how bad it is. <<less
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edytor rated it
April 13, 2017
Status: c45
Story's standard. MC dies, gets given a chance to live through 'exams' and upon completion, gets given rewards (or penalties) then returns to reality for a set period (break) before he needs to complete another one, rinse and repeat until the final assessment.

Some of the character's, so far, are more or less relatable.

Though most of the interactions feel forced and stale and while the characters aren't cliche, I still felt they were roughly less than decent, nothing amazing (Dungeon Defense) or good (MEMORIZE). So far some of the side characters... more>> have been shafted in order to make the MC look more amazing, specifically on the second/third test. Even further on, the author still didn't explore his immediate party enough for me to get attached. The MC is the only one with sufficient development. He knows he was a loser and the novel doesn't spend too much time dwelling on his regrets and insecurities, mostly only when necessary and relevant and enough to be believable that his past as a loser is a part of his character (heavily influenced by women and success for better and worse). But sadly, he was the only one with some real depth.

This is a gauntlet type story, so the world building will never be as strong as MCHHS or Dungeon Defense since the stories have to build themselves around the game system rather than a persistent epic fantasy world. The world building was better than it's competitors like Master Hunter K and Acquiring Talent in a Dungeon, partially to the fact that the tests seem to be on a persistent world though the overall writing was worse than both. Additionally, another good thing is that the author doesn't shove too much in your face at any one time, spreading out mechanical info. However there are still numerous plot holes like:


MC has the power to muffle sound but doesn't muffle the sounds of a humanoid dying, waking up a large hostile force. MC obtains a Mosin and practically aimbot, but when the big bad boss shows up supposedly aimbot is not good enough to avoid a shield, and this is also assuming a 7.62 wouldn't be enough to penetrate the shield itself.

The very same boss can somehow dodge bullets despite them going faster than the speed of sound. Utter bullshit.

One of the party members dies instantly to an arrow to the heart.

As well as other signs of poor writing.


Translation definitely needs work. There are spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, incorrect tense and enough awkward sentence-structure/word-choice (localization) that it bothered me and ended up hurting the overall rating.

Overall I'd give this a mark of 4/10.

It's better than most cliche web novels out there, still not the best or even a good web novel, just don't have too high of an expectation and you'll most likely enjoy it. <<less
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Overclock rated it
December 15, 2018
Status: c140
A interesting novel. Not the best, but has it's moment. Protagonist is OP with cheat level skills later on if you like that thing, but not too overbearing. For big criticisms of the novel fans have there are two. One is about his third mission which changed up a lot of what we thought the novel would be like and I agree that I didn't like it. The other is about a girlfriend of the MC which I don't agree with at all

Third mission and onward -

During the third mission the MC and his team was wiped out. Only the MC lived. At this point of the story, although we weren't too attach to them, it was surprising. Especially losing one character almost on par with our MC in ability. Afterwards MC goes solo for a while and becomes more of a cheat. Then the story in the arena isn't that interesting even after new characters appear, where as the real world fights become the most interesting. The team wipe just shifted our expectations of the novel and began feeling like a much different novel, so I wouldn't blame anyone who says it's not as good afterwards.


Girlfriend -

It's something I don't really get why she was so disliked. The girl was nice, supportive, good looking, put out, and really liked the protagonist, yet a lot of readers saw her as a sl*t and gold digger.

She's introduced as a party girl and not a virgin, so pretty much a real woman in her 20's and in college which I guess frightens some guys here as opposed to JP and CN girls who are virgins no matter the age and are pure as snow, obedient, and don't have a life outside of the protagonist.
Calling her a gold digger has no standing in the novel. The MC gets rich around the time of his 4th and 5th mission. He wanted to buy her a few things, bought a good car and liked to drive her places, and bought a expensive apartment and moved in there with her. Well, none of those things were her idea. She didn't want gifts, but he pressured her. She didn't tell him to buy the car. And most of all buying a expensive apartment and moving in together were all the mc's idea and he was scheming to impress her so much that she would give up her place and stay. Chapter 77 shows it.
The only event that might make you think she's not a good girlfriend, if you're a petty person, is one time after the MC comes back from a mission. Her friends were jealous that she had a rich boyfriend, so they conspired to get her drunk and leave her with a man who is in love with her. The MC, who sees this after coming back from a dangerous battle, gets a upset even knowing the situation and knowing he wasn't in a good mood. Later after sobering up the girlfriend immediately rushes to apologize for the situation and says she will dump her bad friends.
They get over this incident, but because soon afterwards real world forces are targeting him he breaks up with her to protect her. She hasn't appeared again and the MC moved on in like two days to new girls. Despite this people still look at her like a sl*t and gold digger, and are glad he's now with a unfeeling and obedient woman living to help him in the arena. Because, you know she had no life outside the MC. And MC gets even more clingy to her and as the same way as before, scheming for affection and buying her stuff.

With that said I wouldn't trust any review them at slanders her as credible opinion to look at. They either have unrealistic standards for women, forgot the story, or straight up lying about her being a gold digger and bad influence on the MC.

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Chamber rated it
May 29, 2017
Status: Completed
Too bad there's no 6/5. One of the best novels out there.

MC actually uses his smarts to become stronger, and not just by getting better skills. And the romance is cute as well. The premise for this entire setting is interesting as well, and I like the character development a lot. It's thrilling, exciting, and nice to see.
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Hantosh rated it
December 8, 2016
Status: c67
Similar to Gantz, life fail MC dies and is forced to play a death game with RPG elements on another world named Arena.

- Great writing. Can't stress this enough. Genuinely funny dialogue. Non-archetypal, interesting characters. His family members are great. Normally in this genre the game/dungeon chapters are where the meat is and the civilian life intermissions suffer from blandness/genericness. Not this story, the out-of-game chapters are just as interesting. Lots of detail is given to flesh out the world and characters.
- Great character development. Characters feel... more>> real. Believable MC; isn't a blank slate, blatant self-insert, silent robot archetype.
- Power system is consistent and easy to understand.

- The first couple of chapters with the first mission feels kind of forced and abrupt (unnatural). If you can get past that though, you're in for a treat.

Wasn't expecting much, so this was a surprise. Got quite a few laughs. Definitely worth a read. <<less
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herolaubet rated it
March 29, 2017
Status: c67
First of all, this series has been dropped. We don't know when we might get another translator so that sucks.

Now for the series itself. Let's break it down:

Plot - The Plot is very interesting. It's your typical wake up in a strange room and have to complete missions in order to get rewards and level up, very Gantz/TI like. It has decent flow in combat and the missions are not dragged out at all, which I enjoy, but some people may be off put by some things which may be... more>> "unrealistic" (although using this term in a LN is weird to me), meaning some explanations given are hard to swallow if you are a nitpicker. Another thing about the plot is that the actual missions are only half of it. The author puts a big emphasis on the MC's life outside of the mission world, even putting in some light romance (maybe calling it a romance is stretching it). Expect at least half of the chapters to be about his interactions with family and other characters outside of missions. I don't usually enjoy these "slice of life" parts on other novels, but on this one its surprisingly entertaining. I can't really put my finger on why but it flows really smoothly, making me want to read more.

Another important topic is that although the MC shows immense potential, at the latest translated chapter he is far from being OP. Survival is a constant concern, never seeming like he will just breeze through the missions without effort.

Characters - The characters aside from the MC are all shallow with little to no introduction of background. Most are pretty generic and only serve the purpose of the plot. That being said, the lack of character depth doesn't really interfere too much with the flow of the story, because the setting is very interesting and sort of makes up for that flaw.

Setting - This is probably the series strongest point. The setting created, although not that original, is very interesting and shows great potential. The only problem I have with it at the moment is the lack of creativity shown in the Skills. Not giving any spoilers, but that is a specially important part of the setting for this novel and I don't really think that the author has the right brain juice to put out interesting enough skills. So far they have been mostly bland generic RPG skills. That is the biggest point of concerning for me, going forward with this novel.

Overall - A nice, fun read. Recommended for anyone who likes Terror Infinity, Gantz and the like. <<less
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RANTMAN rated it
April 11, 2016
Status: --
15 chapters in and I am really enjoying this novel. Reminds me of Terror Infinity without the movie theme, which is a plus for me. The MC’s thought process is logical and his character isn’t overdone. I am looking forward to future releases.
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ZhaWarudo rated it
July 21, 2016
Status: c42
I say this is the best apocalypse game elements novel so far translated. Previously I thought it was Terrory infinity but when I caught up to Starship Troopers, it just became comrade this and that + MC being s*upid. Needless to say we have a smart MC here and no harem!

It's a shame about the lack of chaps but I can say it definitely doesn't and won't have many of the GODW's faults. I have only made a comparison but so what, you know what to expect out of this... more>> kind of novel, describing it would be hard without spoiling. It doesn't have a late start so if you don't like the first few chaps... <<less
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